Renée Fleming / Jeffrey Tate / English Chamber Orchestra

The Beautiful Voice

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Sure, it takes guts for a soprano to call an album THE BEAUTIFUL VOICE. But Renée Fleming did it, and the title fits. Fleming, a recognized performer with a wealth of talent, had the luxury of being allowed to program the music she loved--music as gratifying to sing as it is to hear.

With careful and varied support from Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra, Fleming's program is a wash of exquisite music, mostly about love: longing for lost love (in "Marietta's Lied"); first knowing love (in "Depuis le jour"); in youth (the "Jewel Song"); and in old age ("The last rose").

Fleming is at her best here in operatic selections in which the diva halts the action to tell a story, to dwell in a moment, or to draw her on- and off-stage audiences into the action. There is some well-trodden ground here, but long, flowing lines and sumptuous, floating high notes keep the program fresh. In a market glutted with artist-centered albums, THE BEAUTIFUL VOICE is a standout.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Louise, opera
1 6:06
Faust, opera
2 4:48
Manon, opera in 5 acts
3 6:14
Songs my mother taught me (Als die alte Mutter), song for voice & piano (Gypsy Melodies), B. 104/4 (Op. 55/4)
4 2:24 Amazon
Martha, opera
5 4:52
La Rondine (The Swallow), opera
6 3:40
Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), opera, Op. 12
7 5:59
Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra
8 2:41 Amazon
Morgen ("Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/4 (TrV 170/4)
9 4:06 Amazon
Vocalise, instrumental arrangement, Op. 34/14
10 5:38
Csárdás ("Klänge der Heimat"), for voice & orchestra (RV 503-6)
11 4:36 Amazon
Vilja-Lied, for voice & piano (or orchestra) (from "Die lustige Witwe")
12 5:57
Luna, zarzuela
13 5:08 Amazon
Baïlèro, folksong for voice & orchestra (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2)
14 7:09 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick